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Kikau Is Back After Six Years

Kikau Is Back After Six Years
Jope Ralulu Kikau during training at the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons (FNCDP) complex on April 5, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.
April 06
11:33 2017

After suffering from a spinal injury which left him in a wheelchair while on a full rugby scholarship in New Zealand, Jope Ralulu Kikau thought he would never play competitive sports again.

Fast forward seven years; the former aspiring rugby promise finds himself preparing for the ITTF Oceania Para Championships from April 13-16 at the Vodafone Arena.

Kikau was 19 when he got injured and is now 26 and happy that he is back in sports but playing a different ball game.

“I was on a Pacific scholarship to play rugby in New Zealand and it was while I was in New Zealand when I got my spinal injury,” Kikau said.

“After that I told myself I would not participate in any sport ever again, so I was inactive for six years.

“Then last year, Mere Rodan (Paralympian) told me to try out table tennis, she was pestering me to take up the sport and I tried it out for two months and absolutely fell in love with it.

“At first I didn’t like it because I knew nothing about the sport but then I got the hang of it and knew the rules and I started liking it even more now.

“I think if it wasn’t for table tennis, I would not have got back into sports and I just feel so privileged to be taking part in this Oceania Para Championships.

“Thanks to table tennis I am able to get back to my old routine again and get fit both mentally and physically.”

Kikau is hoping to put in a good performance next week and win some medals for Fiji.

“I want to develop my skills in table tennis and become really good and the other exciting thing is that I will be playing against top players from around the Pacific,” he said.

“But I am up for the challenge in front of me and I am hoping to win some medals for Fiji in the process.”

While a lot of athletes suffer from serious injuries and choose to quit sports Kikau think otherwise.

Kikau said no matter what sport a person played, if they got injured and could not play that sport again, they should not give up.

“There is always something for someone no matter what your situation is and you just need to stay positive, get your mind set right and work hard to achieve the best,” he said.

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